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small thing but imp.

On Sun, 13 Sep 1998 bdp.india@mailexcite.com wrote:
> Dear Sanjeev:
> If we need to get somewhere, we need to take a view point of 
> individuals and of groups who represent an ideology. 

Individuals, Yes. Groups, No. In my view, that would be a serious mistake.
Let me elaborate a bit.

Sure, you have merit in what you say, about BDP coming together and
representing a viewpoint. I wish you and your group great success. Without
your determined effort to debate openly, this forum would not have started
in the first place. That has been repeatedly acknowledged. This is the
practically the first time in India that people are willing to debate
policy rather than impose policy from the top.

However, in the end, it is the individual who represents himself or
herself. We want everyone to state what he/she believes in. Not to repeat
a viewpoint of a group to which he/she belongs. So long as what you stated
earlier (and I fully agree with that view, by the way), is your own view,
I think we are talking as equals. There is debate and discussion. If you
or anyone else starts representing hundreds of people, I get

A view is a view, no matter how many millions of people are behind it.
Simply because someone comes to me and says that socialism is the only way
for India because 600 million people of India believe in it, I really
couldn't care less. I only care for the validity of the VIEW and not for
the numbers of people who stand behind that view. One person holding a
correct view (in terms of being the best in open debate), is fine by me. I
don't need more than one person to persuade me. The millions of people
supporting that view don't really matter.

We have - jointly - tried to build IP as an issue-based discussion forum.
The best issue must win. Period. The view you expressed had 100% merit by
being expressed by you as your own, without having to inform us that it
also represents the view of 250 other people. That view would have won the
debate without reference to BDP or any other grp.

I wish you all success in your efforts to organize Indians on BDP. In fact
I would urge those who are not familiar with that work, to take a look at
what is being done there. These guys have some determination to reform
India! We need more and more people like this.

However, back to IP: I would really appreciate if we only represent
ourselves on this forum and keep its sanctity as a pure intellectual
forum. As you rightly said, this point has been sufficiently touched upon
earlier, and we did agree - I fully remember - to keep this as a PURE
debating forum with individuals representing what they stand for. Let us
keep it that way. This way, everyone will feel free to participate, and we
will attract the best brains of India to IP. If it starts becoming the
'mouth-piece' of any group, that would immediately lower its appeal and
its significance to India. It could then no longer hope to become a
National Debate.

Hope this brings us back to the objectives and clear focus which we had
earlier set for ourselves? Even the Rules of Debate and other places
clearly mention this thing. Let us stick to those guidelines strictly.

Thanks for your understanding!


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